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BAGAN DATOH, Feb 6, 2016:

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today proposed for basic cross-cultural education to be emphasised in Malaysian school curriculum. He said it was aimed at fostering unity among the multi-racial people in the country who seemed to be increasingly polarised. “I call for this because… there is no cross-cultural education being applied in school curricula right from pre-school or kindergarten. “(It seems like) unity is no longer a priority and only a little disagreement or differences are needed to distance races from one another,” he said, after launching the 64th Anniversary Carnival of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Khir Johari here today. He said cross-cultural education should be given priority so that all races could understand the culture and language of other races. “It cannot be simply done through rhetorical speeches or debates, but should be implemented for direct assimilation through the education system,” he said. When asked about his concerns over the declining solidarity level among Malaysians, the deputy prime minister said apart from foreign factors, the lack of cross-cultural education in vernacular and religious schools had also contributed to the situation. “As such, I hope that my opinion can be further studied and discussed by academicians. “Nevertheless, I would like to stress that I do not propose for the abolition of national-type Chinese or Tamil schools, but am just emphasising on cross-cultural education,” he said. Ahmad Zahid said although efforts must be taken to strengthen people’s solidarity, that solidarity should be natural and not just superficial

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